Like entering a still life painting, visiting a house museum is a unique opportunity to stop time and imagine the past in spaces dedicated to its preservation. It’s as if the house breathes with life. You can sense the past in the small objects that were prized by former inhabitants, and presence in the absence of former inhabitants.
On a quiet street in Auckland Park you’ll find Lindfield House, a monument to mostly Victorian life (with some Edwardian references) presided over by Katherine Love who has spent a lifetime collecting objects from her favourite era. The house itself was built in 1910, after the Victorian era - 1837 to 1901 - and not much of Victorian Joburg remains. But step inside, accompanied by Love who will be dressed as a parlour maid and you will be transported to a different time.
Love is able to brilliantly conjure the Victorian period through her vast knowledge of everyday habits, and is very much part of the lavish exhibits that spread across 18 darkened rooms. On a guided tour of this very special home there is an astonishing amount to be learnt about life in Victorian Johannesburg, from the special tea cups men used to protect their moustaches or the calling cards ladies left on their brief parlour visits, to the details of a typical Victorian dinner party or the lifestyle of a young Edwardian dandy - a visit is endlessly fascinating.
A visit can also be combined with a High Tea served on the front terrace of the house overlooking the gardens.